Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
I know, I know, I just covered Barmy Army a couple months ago, but what with the World Cup - and England's dramatic elimination therefrom this week - it seems like the perfect time to revisit this idiosyncratic hybrid of soccer stadium chants and dub beats, rather than waiting for the next go-round. I mean, who knows if there will even be a world in four years, right? Ha ha! Ha. Ha. Yeah. Anyway . . . if there's a record for most comments on a band with the smallest discography, Barmy Army has to hold it. The 12" single and LP in KEXP's possession are the bulk of this project's recorded output, and both are heavily covered in comments - most of them quite positive, if a bit perplexed.
Oh also, I don't know if this is new since their last mention, but I just found there is now a Barmy Army Bandcamp page! So you can go and buy your own download of this timely, timeless gem (but not, alas, the 2018 World Cup limited edition cassette - those are sold out).
"Okay, samples of football crowds over dub beats. How may times, how many records? [This is about it, don't worry.] Very white, if you ask me."
"'Brian Clout' is funky lyrical genius - yeah, very white (boy?), but kinda like Arto Lindsay in that they borrow from genres w/o being condescending but paying tribute musically."
"This ain't funk, it ain't rock, it ain't rap, it ain't white, it ain't black, it ain't brown . . . it's fuckin' On-U-Sound."
"Here is the disease coming straight at you, sampling with a football, etc. theme. Very solid performances. Any cut will do."
"'Que Sera, Sera' - Best version since Doris Day's. Interesting Concept. Let's see their follow-up. What will that be, rugby? Or Hocky crowds in their 3rd LP, 'The Canadian Disease,' etc. etc. The possiblities are engless. 'Cricket, the Limey Plague'"
"I had 3 bdays since this went into rotation. Even if I liked it, I would be tired of it by now."
"Me, too - and I like it."
This week's Review Revue spotlights the album Nuts and Bolts by Richard Barone and James Mastro. See what the KCMU DJs thought back in the day.
This week's Review Revue spotlights the EP Help Save the Youth of America (Live and Dubious) by Billy Bragg. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.